Sunday, February 29, 2004

Happy Leap Day!

Who is probably the most famous person celebrating a once-in-four-years Leap Day birthday today? Well, here are but a few... Dennis Farina, Antonio Sabato Jr., Phyllis Frelich, Dinah Shore, dancer and soap star James "Palmer Cortlandt" Mitchell, motivational speaker Anthony Robbins, rapper Ja Rule, stripper Tempest Storm, bandleader Jimmy Dorsey, composer Giaocchino Rossini, and serial killer Aileen Wuornos.

Speaking of, ahead of tonight's Oscar ceremony, which I believe is the first-ever held on Leap Day, we observe the following. Why is it that the Motion Picture Academy only seems to take notice of women's acting performances when they get overemotional and screaming? Whatever happened to subtlety? Why must the women bring it up to an obnoxiously high decibel level, while the men can sail in with a low-key performance (witness Bill Murray, who my money is squarely on for an Oscar win tonight, and his terrific job in "Lost In Translation"). That probably helps explain why Scarlett Johansson didn't get nominated for her matching work in that film. Part of which explains why the Motion Picture Academy is so out of touch.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Blog On Oscar Night

It's always entertaining to read blogs as the Oscar telecast is going on. Last year, I made my destination Box Office Prophets, which had a panel of its best writers, and the added load of all the Oscar blog readers crashed that site into oblivion for about a week.

This year, my Blog destination for Oscar night is going to be Mark Evanier's News From Me. Mark and I have crossed paths many times over the years, though we have never met. I was a reader 20 years ago of his fine comic books "DNAgents" and "Crossfire", the latter of which included not letters from readers, but very interesting essays on show business. When I was Fearless Leader of APATOONS, Mark was one of our honorary members and was thus entitled to mailings without contributions. Now Mark's running this newsfeed, and it's really a treat to read his opinions on matters big and small, covering both showbiz and politics in equal doses. Professionally, Mark is probably most renowned for writing and voice directing every single episode of the "Garfield And Friends" cartoon series, one of the best Saturday Morning shows when cartoons still ruled that daypart. So go hear with Mark has to say on Oscar night! And hopefully it won't crash!

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

De-Evolution Of Late Night Television

As exhibited by the NBC late night show announcers

Gene Rayburn
Bill Wendell
Hugh Downs
Ed McMahon
Edd Hall
Stuttering John Melendez

Great. We've got an announcer now with "stuttering" in his name.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004


Fox Sports has random sampling of the A-Rod to Yankees deal. The commissioner should have squashed this one in the bud, because you will now probably not want to care about baseball.

Steinbrenner is fielding a team of overpriced benchwarmers acquired for the express purpose of keeping them off other teams (i.e. The Red Sox). And Channel 11 News was saying this morning that he's not done, he's trying to get Greg Maddux.

And who did the Mets get this off-season that's even name-worthy? Oh yes. They BLEW getting Vladmir Guerrero!

I might be done with baseball if the Yanks take it all... because Steinbrenner will have BOUGHT himself a championship.

Eagle Soars

Check out this op-ed piece from today's Washington Post by musician Don Henley, who paints a pretty sorry picture of today's music industry. (Registration may be required.)

Quite telling is his comment that the music industry may eventually boil down to three major labels - I would assume these to be Sony, Warner and Universal.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Who Will Replace Rod?

Who says no electioneering outside polling places? You are outside the door of the polling place for CBS.COM's
"The Price Is Right" web page. They are soliciting opinions on who would be the best announcer to continue in the footsteps of Johnny Olson and Rod Roddy.

Your choices are the four who have already had on-air auditions: Burton Richardson, Randy West, Art Sanders, and Daniel Rosen.

I'm sure Messrs. Richardson, Sanders and Rosen are nice enough guys, but I implore you: if you have any respect for the tradition of the program and the natural order of progression, your vote must go to Mr. Randy West. Follow the links below to read Randy's tribute to Johnny O, the original "Come On Down!" man from 1972-1985, and then go to CBS and vote Randy. Thank you.

Randy tells the story of Johnny Olson's life and career on his website
CBS - TPIR Announcer Poll

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Ooh, "The Chase"

For one brief moment, I thought I was living in Los Angeles... or reliving an old Charlie Sheen movie.

At approximately 5:03 p.m. today, Channels 2 and 7 in New York featured helicopter footage of a police car chase that began in Hunterdon County and ended in a driveway in Bayonne. Such chases are an almost daily event in the Number Two TV market, but in New York they are almost unheard of. Channels 4 and 5 had the editorial good taste not to join their competitiors in the high-skies fray.

The old Charlie Sheen movie I was alluding to was "The Chase", in which Sheen (with Kristy Swanson riding shotgun) eludes cops in a high-speed, high-stakes gamble that is covered by two rival news teams. It frequently shows up on cable to this day. The film doesn't know if it wants to be a serious chase drama, or a goofy sendup of local TV news coverage, but it's one of those movies that has its moments. Mostly when Swanson is on screen.

And speaking of Sheen, how delicious was it seeing Jenna Elfman the other night on "Two And A Half Men"? Hey Chuck Lorre... sign that kid up, she's good! (Yeah, I know Mrs. Elfman and Lorre have a past together...)

Friday, February 06, 2004

NJT and PSCT Mailboxes Closed

Due to problems with spam, I have decided to close the njtbus and psct mailboxes. Please see below for the correct address for pertinent comments.

Also, we had a brief interruption in service this morning due to problems at Webmasters.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Here's The Real Tragedy of The Super Bowl Halftime Show

It isn't Janet Jackson's breast... this is what REALLY hacked me off (because, like the President, I dozed off and missed it)...

In total agreement with the VFW on this one.